Apr 302019
 

Wed, Read & Dead
(Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns

 

About the Book

 

Wed, Read & Dead (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718291
ISBN-13: 978-1496718297
Digital ASIN: B07G6RDBRV

Bookstore owner Samantha Washington sells and solves mysteries in North Harbor, Michigan—including the murder of her mother’s wedding planner . . .

Sam’s mother can’t wait to wed her wealthy beau, Harold Robertson. The big mystery is how they’re going to pull off a lavish wedding in three weeks. Harold’s snobby sister-in-law proposes a solution: engage flamboyant wedding planner Lydia Lighthouse. But their beacon of hope quickly sends everyone into a blind rage, most of all the groom-to-be. So when the maddening micromanager is strangled with her own scarf, it’s a shock, but not a surprise.

It’s a case of art imitating life as Sam pens her next historical mystery set in England between the wars. Lady Daphne Marsh insists on marrying Lord James Browning on Christmas Eve, three weeks hence. But when the fop planning their wedding ends up with a knife in his back, she vows to nab the backstabber before she walks down the aisle.

Meanwhile, when she’s not writing, Sam and her beloved and boisterous Nana Jo rush to shine a light on Lydia’s killer—so her mother’s new husband won’t spend his honeymoon behind bars . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wedding bells will soon be ringing for Samantha’s mom Grace who is set to be married on Christmas Eve to Harold Robertson. With just 3 weeks to make all the arrangements including the dresses for the bride and her daughters who will be her bridesmaids. The family gets together to meet the groom’s family and go over details. That is when his sister-in-law reveals her gift of a wedding planner even as she degrades the bride feeling she is not good enough for her brother-in-law. The wedding planner makes her grand entrance. Lydia Lighthouse flaunts all the lavish wedding she has planned. But her ideas fall short of what the couple wants and come with huge price tags. The groom can certainly afford them but when the planner continues with her plan ignoring Grace, her betrothed becomes livid. Later when Lydia is found dead no one is really shocked but when Harold is named the main suspect, Sam, Nana Jo, and the Sleuthing Seniors gather and use all their resources to find the killer.

Sam also opens her home to some special guests and works on her next book which also features a wedding. It takes place in England in 1938 at the home of Lord William March. And it includes a murder too.

What a fabulous book!

The first chapter was so funny. I was laughing out loud. Things get serious after that but Ms. Burns laces her mysteries with humor and I love that.

The characters in this story are so well crafted. From the youngsters to the seniors and everyone in between. There is a real sense of family in this story. A family that is so inclusive of not just blood relatives but the people that have been brought together through life choices and chances. It warms my heart to witness how Sam and Nana Jo open their hearts to others and how it expounds from there. This group of people comes together for all occasions even to solve a murder. Some investigate, some keep the bookstore going so Sam can pursue leads, while others try to get the wedding plans under control.

Two characters that always steal my heart are Sam’s toy poodles, Snickers, and Oreo. I too have 2 dogs, not poodles, but border collie mixes, one who happens to be named Oreo. In this story, we learn how much Sam’s Oreo enjoyed playing in the snow. His snowful joy mirrored my Oreo perfectly. Snickers doesn’t like the snow much at all and that behavior mirrored my other dog Nerabelle too. It was almost as if Ms. Burns had visited us.

The story includes two mysteries and I love that Sam uses her writing to settle her mind to ponder the clues in her real-life mystery. Both are well-plotted with great twists and turns. New readers to this series will have to get used to the switching back and forth from present day to Sam’s historical mystery but now look forward to it. In fact, I can’t wait for the parallel storyline to start.

Engaging and fun characters, two intriguing mysteries, romance that doesn’t go too far, and great dialogue all make this story so entertaining. I love the bookshop setting too!

I have enjoyed every book in this series and in Ms. Burns Dog Club Mysteries too. So much so, the last book in this series, The Novel Art of Murder was the first book this year to have a place on my Best Reads List for 2019. This book will join it as it now is my favorite book in this series. I can’t wait for the next one!

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About the Author

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:     Website  Facebook   Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase Links – Amazon –  Barnes & Noble – IndieBound  – Books-A-Million –  Hudson Booksellers 
Books-A-Million –  Hudson Booksellers

Also by V.M. Burns

Praise for Wed, Read & Dead (Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns

Smooth writing, engaging characters, wit, humor (Irma!) and a multi-layered mystery that kept me guessing until very close to the end!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

Wed, Read & Dead by V.M. Burns is an excellent book. Ms. Burns has a great series with these wonderfully developed characters, charming setting and adorable poodles . . .
~Baroness’ Book Trove

I love the local flavor in the books in this series. The characters are wonderful and relatable.
Nana Jo and her friends are such a treat.
~Laura’s Interests

The plot kept me hooked, but it is the characters that will keep me reading this series. So, two mysteries in one, humour, adorable kids that will break your heart, sassy seniors, the MC owns a bookstore and lots of food all add up to a wonderful cozy mystery that I can’t recommend enough.
~Carla Loves To Read

 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Mar 192019
 

An Au Pair to Remember:
A Male Housekeeper Mystery
by Stephen Kaminski

About the Book


An Au Pair to Remember: A Male Housekeeper Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Cozy Cat Press (January 27, 2019)
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 1946063703
ISBN-13: 978-1946063700
Digital ASIN: B07NCBZ23L

From the author of the award-winning Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective series comes the Male Housekeeper Mysteries, focusing on charming characters, snappy dialogue, eclectic murders, and cunning confidence schemes. To his mind, Cam Reddick has failed—as a husband, as a father, and as a professional. After recognizing that his vanilla credentials didn’t stack up in a big city brimming with overachievers and toiling in drudgery for half of a decade, an emotionally raw Cam returns to his childhood hometown—the quaint and quirky village of Rusted Bonnet, Michigan. He’s determined to resuscitate relationships marred by youthful immaturity, most importantly those with his ex-wife Kacey Gingerfield (who doubles as the village’s Deputy Chief of Police) and their first grader, Emma. Armed with striking looks and an endearing proclivity for mixing metaphors, but saddled by “momma’s boy” tendencies, Cam takes the helm of his mother’s housekeeping business—Peachy Kleen. Access to homes across the village facilitates Cam’s penchant for amateur sleuthing as Kacey’s aide-de-camp. Surrounded by Kacey, his sophisticated mother Darby, garrulous senior housekeeper Samantha, and recuse fish cum confidant Bait, Cam’s circuitous journeys to solving murders and unravelling complex cons hasten his struggle down the path of self-healing to self-respect. And there’s hope that—just maybe—he can rekindle the romance he once had with Kacey.

In An Au Pair to Remember, Cam’s plan for a quiet return to Rusted Bonnet is dashed when a beautiful German au pair, Greta Astor, is found dead in Dutch McRae’s foyer with all signs pointing to a hastily disassembled trip wire at the top of the stairs. When Kacey learns that Cam was cleaning the McRae home the previous afternoon, she confides to him that Chief Bernie Leftwich is set on arresting Dutch for the murder—either alone or in tandem with Greta’s bartender boyfriend. But she worries that Bernie’s been duped. And later, when his mother Darby becomes a suspect, Cam inserts himself into the investigation and stumbles through a series of ostensible incongruities—a thief swallowing a cache of stolen diamonds, a snack food distributor laundering money, and a Cash-for-Gold scam. Meanwhile, Peachy Kleen’s young African housekeeper has disappeared with one of the company vans. All the while, Cam finds himself flirting with his new neighbor and struggling with his complicated feelings for Kacey.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cam Reddick has returned to Rusted Bonnet, Michigan to take over his mother’s housecleaning business, Peachy Kleen. But he has an ulterior motive. He hopes to have a real relationship with his daughter Emma and repair the relationship with his ex-wife Kacey Gingerfield, that blew up when he ran away and headed off to the big city. Kacey has moved on with her life working as the Deputy Chief of Police and taking care of her 6-year-old daughter. Cam’s mother, Darby is also very involved in the child’s life.

Cam is taking a hands-on approach at Peachy Kleen. He is part of the team sent to clean the McRae home where he meets Greta Astor, the McRae’s au pair. He is shocked to learn that the woman was found dead in the home the next morning. Chief Bernie Leftwich has already solved the case to his satisfaction. He deduces a trip wire was placed on the staircase and removed after Greta’s fall. He decides the children’s father, Dutch McRae is the murderer, but Kacey has her doubts. Then due to some “evidence”, he has determined that Cam’s mother Darby did it or is at least an accomplice. Cam can’t take the news sitting down so he starts doing a little sleuthing on his own. His ex-wife isn’t happy about it but at least he is keeping her in the loop with his findings.

I didn’t like Cam from the first sweep but he grew on me more as the story continued. He uses his immaturity as a reason for leaving his family behind and I just wasn’t having it. I pegged him as selfish and conceded.  I do believe in second chances though so I was willing to give him a chance and I am glad I did. I really liked Kacey. A strong woman in a tough job being the best single mom that she can. She does open her life to Cam and allows him to see his daughter a lot without a whole lot of custody craziness. He steps up too with Emma when Kacey needs to work overtime to solve the case.  Darby brings some levity to the story. I was stunned though by the Chief’s stupidity when he actually pulled her in as a suspect.

The mystery is a twisted one with plenty of theories but not a lot of actual evidence making it difficult to solve. The subplot featuring one of Peachy Kleen’s employees was very interesting and I was anxious to see how that played out and how and if it had anything to do with the au pair’s death. I did have an inkling about the murderer early on but can’t point to one thing that took me in their direction, it was just an overall thing until the final clues fell into place.

I hope in the next story we learn much more about the characters. Cam appears to have Celiac Disease and should adhere to a gluten-free diet. His good and bad food choices run throughout the story. I feel we have just scratched the surface on Kacey and Darby and I really want to see more of Emma. Of course, Cam’s fish Bait, yes he named his fish Bait, already plays a crucial role as Cam’s sounding board. I just hope he has a life longer than a typical fish 🙂

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About the Author

Stephen Kaminski is the author of An Au Pair to Remember, the first installment of the Male Housekeeper Mystery series.  He also writes the award-winning Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective books.  Stephen is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Law School and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the trade association representing the United States’ poison control system and its fifty-five centers.  He lives with his daughter and rescue kitty in the Washington, DC area.

Author Links – GoodReads Facebook

Purchase Links – Amazon KindleAmazon Paperback 

Also by this Author

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Feb 052019
 


The Novel Art of Murder
(Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns

 

About the Book


The Novel Art of Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711858
ISBN-13: 978-1496711854
Digital ASIN: B07B7B4C8Q

Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is trying to keep her grandmother from spending her golden years in an orange jumpsuit . . .

The small town of North Harbor, Michigan, is just not big enough for the two of them: flamboyant phony Maria Romanov and feisty Nana Jo. The insufferable Maria claims she’s descended from Russian royalty and even had a fling with King Edward VIII back in the day. She’s not just a lousy liar, she’s a bad actress, so when she nabs the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies—a part Nana Jo plays every year in their retirement village production—Nana Jo blows a gasket and reads her the riot act in front of everyone.

Of course, when Maria is silenced with a bullet to the head, Nana Jo lands the leading role on the suspects list. Sam’s been writing her newest mystery, set in England between the wars, with her intrepid heroine Lady Daphne drawn into murder and scandal in the household of Winston Churchill. But now she has to prove that Nana Jo’s been framed. With help from her grandmother’s posse of rambunctious retirees, Sam shines a spotlight on Maria’s secrets, hoping to draw the real killer out of the shadow.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in North Harbor, Michigan just in time for Samantha Washington’s Nana Jo to become a murder suspect. It seems her usual part in the Shady Acres Senior Follies has been given to Maria Romanov, a woman of questionable character. Said to be descended from Russian Royalty and a great actress, Nana Jo knows the woman is a phony. As soon as others hear her sing, they know it too. Nana Jo tries to take the woman to task publically so when Maria ends up dead, Nana Jo’s fate as a murder suspect is sealed.

Not so fast, Sam is on the case. Using her current work in progress where Lady Daphne is in the middle of a murder in the home of Winston Churchill to settle her mind and draw parallels, she is sure to find who has framed her Nana. The crew from Shady Acres steps in to help too and soon real suspects are uncovered and clues start to fall into place.

That’s Oreo and Snickers on the cover, Oreo looks nothing like my Oreo but I love the author’s choice of pet names. The expression of the dog in the back cracks me up every time I look at the cover.

Okay, the cover is great, but the story/stories within are excellent. Ms. Burns gives us a present-day cozy mystery and her character Samantha Washington is an author and we get to read her latest work too. I love that we get two stories in each novel. It took some getting used to with the first book, but now with book 3, I hit the rhythm right away. I really enjoy how they work together.

Full of colorful characters the story sets a nice pace. Intrigue with a big dose of humor keeps the pages turning and both stories had wonderful surprise endings. Some parts are truly laugh out loud funny.

I loved this book and can’t wait for more! This is the first book of 2019 to receive my top Paradise rating and a place on my Best Reads of 2019 list. While the story can stand on its own I recommend starting at the beginning of the series for maximum enjoyment.

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About the Author

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:     Website  Facebook   Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase Links – Amazon –  Barnes & Noble – IndieBound
Books-A-Million –  Hudson Booksellers 


Coming April 30, 2019

Also by V.M. Burns

Praise for The Novel Art of Murder
(Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns

A well-written cozy mystery with charm and heart, The Novel Art of Murder is a truly enjoyable read from start to finish.
~Reading Is My SuperPower

I had a lot of fun reading this book . . . the wild characters keep Sam`s life interesting . . .
~Laura’s Interests

Lots of little twists and turns to keep you guessing wrapped around enough charm to really draw the reader in.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

V.M. Burns has taken the traditional, contemporary cozy mystery and added a twist . . . It had to be the funniest killer takedown I have seen! I highly recommend this one.
~Author, Teresa Trent

 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jan 082019
 


Do No Harm: A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery
Mystery/ Amateur Sleuth
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Crooked Lane Books (December 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317874
ISBN-13: 978-1683317876
Kindle ASIN: B078M3J4FK

Small-town doctor Katie LeClair is drawn back into an old murder investigation, a mysterious disappearance, and a dark undercurrent of violence.

The idyllic town of Baxter, Michigan, seemed like the perfect place for Dr. Katie LeClair to settle down after years toiling in medical school—until the murder of a patient shattered the peace she had found. Now on the mend and balancing the responsibilities of a new house and the joys of a new romance, Katie is finally ready to start enjoying life. But danger arrives just as the town is gearing up for its annual Halloween festival—and once again, this doctor-turned-sleuth will have to unmask a killer in their midst.

Trouble comes in threes this Halloween. Katie sees a new patient who has just been released from prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit. Inexplicably, the patient suddenly goes missing. And matters take an even more sinister turn when a college student who had been investigating Katie’s old murder case is found dead in the woods near Baxter.

Could Katie’s involvement with the case be responsible for the student’s violent death? Is her new patient truly a cold-blooded murderer? Is this Halloween about to become a real-life horror show?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Dr. Katie LeClair is settling in and getting comfortable in Baxter, Michigan. Circumstances in book 1 have left the clinic shorthanded but Katie’s doctor boyfriend is filling in and picking up the slack.

Set in late October we meet Katie’s new patient Eugene Lowe, who has just been released from prison for a murder he still claims he didn’t commit. We also learn a young college student who had previously worked with Katie is missing. Taylor Knox just happened to be researching Lowe’s case for one of her classes when she went missing. After the girl’s body is found Eugene goes missing knowing he will be the prime suspect. Katie believes Eugene didn’t kill Taylor and probably didn’t kill the first woman either, she just has to prove it. With her brother Caleb techy knowledge and skills, she may be able to find the real killer.

I really like Katie LeClair, she is not only strong and smart she is compassionate and caring. She is not quick to judge and strives to get the true facts. Her brother Caleb has her back and is a great sounding board. New boyfriend Matt, also a doctor, wishes she would leave matters to police but knows Katie will not back away from the case so he also helps in any way he can. These characters are realistic and people I would like to know in real life. Ms. Eastman has also created a wonderful cast of secondary characters as well that clearly could be found in any small Midwestern town.

The mystery twists around and connects to Katie in different ways giving her the means to insert herself in key ways to follow up on clues and other information she has uncovered. I particularly enjoyed the way the police chief appreciated Katie’s input. The story had a rapid pace and elements that take this land this in the traditional mystery category. There was suspense in all the rights places and the author takes us on a great journey.

While this story can be read as a stand alone I believe the series should be read in order for maximum enjoyment. There are spoilers in this book if you plan to go back and read Unnatural Causes after reading this book.

Dawn Eastman has a writing style that I really enjoy. This is a great addition to this series.

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You can read my review of Unnatural Causes here


About the Author

National bestselling author Dawn Eastman was a family medicine physician in Michigan. Now she lives in Iowa with her husband, son, and daughter. When not writing, she keeps busy catering to the whims of a bossy bichon-shih tzu mix who wants to rule the world. This is her first Dr. Katie LeClair mystery. She is also the author of THE FAMILY FORTUNE MYSTERIES.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – Goodreads

Twitter – @DawnAEastman


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

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with a US mailing address.

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Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Oct 092018
 


Forever Fudge (A Candy-coated Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496716064
Kindle ASIN: B078QM8PGM

When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .

SHOT ON LOCATION

It’s Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie’s help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie’s bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head—with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge maker has to square off against a crazy killer—but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy is up to her neck in another murder. The quiet tourist destination has had a real crime wave since she came to town. Her dog, Mal, has found yet another body. A body the killer wanted Allie to find because he left her a note with the deceased.

She really doesn’t have time for another murder mystery. Frances and  Mr. Devaney are off on their honeymoon so the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop is understaffed and some unusual and scary things are happening at the hotel. Allie doesn’t know if they are connected to the murder, but she needs to find out.

It doesn’t help that a film crew has set up on the island for a new murder mystery show and the town is running a contest to see which side of the street can come up with the most money. The winner will be a featured backdrop for the film which could be great publicity. The hotel and fudge shop had a good year, but Allie has other plans for her profits. This does not make the mayor happy.

Her personal life is in flux too and her BFF is leaving the island for a great job in Chicago. The idea of a peaceful offseason is not going to happen unless she helps find a killer and the film crew leaves town. Fudge! She is going to have to get involved in another investigation!

Escaping to Mackinac Island with Allie and the gang is always so much fun. This time the author has really stirred up a sweet mystery. Life at the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop is never dull. There is always something happening. The characters she has created are so engaging. It makes me want to pack my bags and head there right away. I missed having Frances there especially but it is after Labor Day and the newlyweds deserve some time off for their honeymoon.

Ms. Coco added an interesting element to the mystery this time. The killer is leaving clues stating chess moves. The problem is Allie doesn’t play chess so she tries to learn. But before she gets even a novice handle on the game another body is found and she realizes the killer knows her well, knows the previous crimes she has helped solve, and the people she cares about may be in danger. This adds a nice twist to the entire story.

Forever Fudge is a well-written cozy mystery with well-developed characters. The author blends the intrigue with a little romance and humor. I am team Rex all the way but looking forward to the next installment in the series to see if Allie finally makes up her mind.

The fudge recipes throughout the book are an added bonus.

This was an entertaining escape and a fine addition to this series.

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Find out more about Nancy Coco/Nancy J. Parra and her books on her webpage here

Written as Nancy J. Parra

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to giveaway!  

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End October 23, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Sep 122018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli to Escape with Dollycas today!

Hi Everyone,

When my agent suggested Little Libraries might make a good topic for a series, I did what I always do, smiled and nodded while thinking: “That’s nuts!  What can I do with Little Library boxes that sit out in front of houses?

They sit there at the curb, one purpose only: to hold borrowable books and make readers happy.   How do I stuff a body into one of those little things?  How do I plant clues?  How do I work up suspense?  How do I stage a final scene with the killer cornering my sleuth: his eyes blood red, a knife in his raised hand, the final thrust within inches…?

I thought up mysteries based on themes in a famous writer’s work., or a style, a book from a series, a character, a setting . . . from shadowy moors with a voice calling from a parked Porsche: “Heathcliff! Where the hell are you?” to a 21st century Scrooge with a murderous ghost hiding in his natural-stone shower.  I looked at writers from Shakespeare: “Out, out, damned spot.  Thy DNA wilt gives me away.”

To:

Edgar Allen Poe:  The Tell-Tale Heart.   My title: What’s That Beating in my Walls.

Joseph Kesselring, the Broadway play of 1941: Arsenic and Old LaceMy title: Batrachtoxin and Spandex

Frances Hodgson Burnett:  The Secret Garden.  My title: Mulch and Murder.

Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca. My title: Hmmm.  Maybe, for that lying, cheating Rebecca:  Sure Glad She’s Dead.

Louise May Alcott:  Little Women.  My title: The Family that Preys Together.

But this is what I’ve settled on so far:

I took bits of Alice in Wonderland, stirred in some whimsical flavoring, committed a couple of murders, threw in a Little Woman with a giant chip on her shoulder, and out popped: A Most Curious Murder.

Then—Emily Dickinson, at long last she’s slipped into my hands.  I used, not her work but her life in their icy Amherst, MA house with sister Lavinia.  I threw in a heap of jealousy, touched a match to it, and came up with: She Stopped for Death.

Then—In Want of a Knife.  This is Jane Austen (believe it or not).  I found what I was looking for in Pride and Prejudice.  I discovered that mothers wanting rich husbands for their daughters are alive and well, in this century, in Bear Falls, Michigan.  Rich husbands might be murderers, or maybe it’s their friends.  It all works out in the end:  some daughters get their men, murderers are duly dispatched, and everyone lives happily ever after.

And now I’m writing: He Went out and Hanged himself.  You’ve got to know that’s Agatha Christie.  This one’s easy.  Ten people isolated in the forests of Upper Michigan.  They disappear—one by one (almost), old sins follow them, and eventually, the dead are unburied for all to see.

And that’s it—so far.   But who knows where this series will take me: Anna Karenin?, Animal Farm?  Maybe Lord of the Flies?

After all, there’s no place like a library.

What a great idea:  Little Libraries!   (I love my agent).

~Elizabeth

Thank you, Elizabeth, for visiting today!

Now let me give you my thoughts on In Want of a Knife.


In Want of A Knife: A Little Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 321 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317378
ISBN-13: 978-1683317371
Kindle ASIN: B078MB5DHT

When they investigate a string of disappearances of young girls, will Jenny Weston and Zoe Zola be dispatched with extreme pride and prejudice?

Amateur sleuth and little librarian Jenny Wilson is set on edge when the police discover a young girl’s body, dressed in an old-fashioned white lace dress, just outside Bear Falls. And when another local girl from town disappears soon after, Jenny and her next-door neighbor, author and little person Zoe Zola, know they have to help the beleaguered police chief.

But first, Jenny and Zoe have new neighbors to meet: A trio of wealthy newcomers from Chicago has just moved into a huge mansion on Lake Michigan. Nathan and Delia Wickley are genial siblings, and Fitzwilliam Dillon, the mansion’s owner, is a Little Person like Zoe. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a rich gentleman seeking to ingratiate himself to his new neighbors will spread a bit of largesse around, and Fitzwilliam is no exception: He has offered two million dollars to Bear Falls. But the townspeople are far from agreed on what to do with the money—and the deliberations are far from peaceful.

But it’ll all come to naught if the missing girl isn’t found, and the culprit identified. And when she ventures alone to a mysterious structure in the woods, Zoe may not live to resolve her romantic dilemmas. Though neither Jenny nor Zoe is particularly placid or even-tempered, love and danger beckon them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Dora’s daughter Jenny and famous author, Zoe team up in this story after one young girl is found dead on the side of the road and another girl goes missing. The police are doing a huge search and as soon as the amateur sleuths meet their new neighbors they will join the search and meet with the girl’s mother and her friend to see if they can get more insight as to where the girl may have gone.

The new neighbors, wealthy people from Chicago, are not very well received. The owner of the new mansion on the lake, Fitzwilliam Dillon, is a Little Person like Zoe and treats her horribly. His two friends aren’t much better, but this group is offering the town two million dollars to invest in something that all residents will benefit from, so the Zoe and the rest of the greeting committee try to bite their tongues until they leave the mansion. Dora agrees to take on Fitz and his friends while Jenny and Zoe do all they can to save the girl who is missing.

Little Librarian Dora takes a bit of a backseat in this story. Jenny and Zoe shine as the trek through the woods searching for any clue that may lead them to the missing girl. They think her friend may have information but he is out of town with his father. The police want all the help they can get and encourage Jenny and Zoe to reach out to this young man as soon as he gets home. I missed the way Jenny and Dora worked together, but really enjoyed the way Zoe cast everything aside, okay, she really doesn’t like the topic of her new book, but she really stepped up this time especially when she has to take 2 steps to everyone else’s 1 and traveling through that woods was hard. The author did an excellent job of making me feel like I was there every step of the way.

Readers were also treated to a complex mystery. First, they had to decide if and how the two teenagers were connected and that wasn’t easy. Suspects were determined by the result. Truthfully the whole thing came down to Zoe and Jenny’s determination that the woods was key. The story is broken into eight parts. I love this author’s writing style. The story had a slow build, each section got a little more intense. By the time I reached Part 8, my heart was beating fast and I could not read the pages fast enough.  Like in the last book a psychological element is brought to light as the mystery is solved.

The subplot of Zoe’s book brought the necessary humor to the story. Her take Pride and Prejudice and the women Jane Austen had created crack me up time and time again. I agreed with her but I do enjoy the escape I get when reading an Austen book.

Jenny’s romantic life is in flux in this book but by the end, things take a turn. No spoilers, you have to read the book.

This is another wonderful book from Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli. Her lead characters are genuine and women whose lives I have become invested in. Each stop to Bear Falls has been very interesting and entertaining. I am excited for more books in this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli lives in Mancelona, MI. She has published ten novels, one work of non-fiction, and several short stories, which have been produced onstage, read on NPR, and published in several newspapers. For many years she taught writing at the International Women’s Writing Guild summer program at Skidmore College and currently teaches at Northwestern Michigan College.

Also by this Author

Written as Elizabeth Lee

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 26, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher on NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jul 182018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

When I saw this book go up on Amazon I knew I wanted to read it right away, but my Reading Calendar was packed full so I slotted it in for the first available day and that was today! 

Berried at Sea (A Cranberry Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Beyond the Page Publishing (March 29, 2018)
Paperback: 184 pages
ISBN-10: 1946069612
ISBN-13: 978-1946069610
Kindle ASIN: B07BSK2QL7

Berried at Sea – The long-awaited wedding of Monica and Greg is the highlight of the harvest season in Cranberry Cove, drawing friends from far and wide to help them celebrate. Among the guests are an old college friend of Monica’s and the woman’s boisterous new husband, a man with many enemies and more than a few bitter women in his past. When he turns up dead on a boat, the victim of a fatal stabbing, Monica steps in once again to unravel the mystery.

As she dredges up clues and wades through a long list of suspects, Monica’s sleuthing becomes all the more pressing when the local police are convinced that her friend did the deed. Monica will have to clear her name fast and track down the real culprit as the killer threatens to bring her sweet wedded bliss to a bitter end.

Includes tasty recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so happy to return to Cranberry Cove and just in time to celebrate Monica and Greg’s wedding. It was quite a gathering. Unfortunately, the honeymoon gets off to a rocky start when they discover a dead body. When the man is flipped over they see it was one of the guests from the wedding, the husband of Monica’s friend from college. Bruce seemed to have more than a few enemies including some ticked off women he has left in his wake. But the police seem to be concentrating on his wife, Andrea. Monica has a hard time believing her friend is a killer and Monica has begged for her help. She has promised Greg her sleuthing days are over, so she makes her reasons clear to him. promises to be careful, and sets her sights on catching the killer or at least point the police in another direction.

I have really enjoyed this series and am so glad it lives on with a new publisher.

Typically cozy mysteries are 280 – 300 pages. This one rings in with just 184 pages but this author packed them full. All the characters I had grown to love are back and Monica has hired a new assistant to work with her in the farm kitchen. Kit works well on his own, he has even created a new recipe. This gives Monica more time to chase down clues, while still having enough tasty treats baked up to sell in the farm store. I wish the book included free samples, but we have the next best thing, recipes at the end of the book.

The pace was quick and the story is very well-written. There are plenty of suspects but I was tracking the culprit much sooner than Monica. The subplots of Gina and her man troubles, Jeff and Lauren’s wedding plans, and the cranberry harvest twist into the main plot nicely.

I love this author’s very descriptive writing style. She doesn’t just tell us a story, she takes you there. It is so easy to escape to Cranberry Cove and catch up with all the town happenings.

Fun characters, a well-plotted mystery, romance, and cranberries. You just can’t go wrong with a book by this author. I have been delighted with everything I have read by her.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series, and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death followed in July 2017. Bought the Farm is available now.





Coming July 31, 2018

Written as Meg London

Just Click on Covers to order from Amazon. 

 


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Sign Up for Peg’s Newsletter to be alerted about new books and other news.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 1, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

This book was purchsed by me and is part of my personal collection.

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Jun 202018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Peg Cochran to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Guest Post
By Peg Cochran
(Provided by the publicist)

There is a certain irony in the fact that I am writing the Farmer’s Daughter series which takes place on Love Blossom Farm in the fictional Michigan town of Lovett.  I didn’t grow up on a farm and my gardening skills can best be described as “limited.”

The suburb where I grew up is much more built up now but back then there was actually a very small farm about two miles away from where they grew corn and sold it at a roadside stand.  The highlight of the summer was those first ears of fresh Jersey corn.

My grandparents had a fair amount of property behind their house and grew lots of vegetables (tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes!), fruits and herbs.  The air around their house always smelled of basil and now when I smell the herb I’m immediately transported back to their home.  My grandfather even grew grapes for the wine he made himself.

Sadly the green thumb wasn’t passed to me.  I had good luck with tomatoes one year and the next year…not so much.  I think I harvested three tomatoes from two plants.  I did manage some herbs and my small lavender “starter” plant actually grew into a bush.

And mint!  Note to self: next time plant mint in a container not in the ground!  I had enough mint to make mint juleps for the entire county! And lemon balm, too.  But I must say our yard smelled heavenly when the breeze blew over my herb garden!

So a lot of research went into this series—I spent a fair amount of time looking up growing seasons and what might be planted/growing/reaped in which month in the Mitten State.  I learned about canning, storing root vegetables for the winter and even cheese making.

It was tons of fun, and I hope you’ll have as much fun reading Bought the Farm!

~Peg

Thank you, Peg, so much for visiting today!

Now let me give you my thoughts on Bought the Farm.


Bought the Farm (Farmer’s Daughter Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Berkley (June 5, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 042528204X
ISBN-13: 978-0425282045
Kindle ASIN: B075HYXZ45

 

 

Wedding preparations are in full swing at Love Blossom Farm as food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald transforms the property for her friend Kelly’s down-home country-style reception. But when the lead singer of the wedding band turns up dead–drowned in a trough full of rainwater and strung up like a scarecrow–the police round themselves up a barnful of suspects.

It seems that Travis sowed the seeds of discord wherever he went, and when it becomes clear that everyone from the groom to Shelby’s own staff has motive, tracking down Travis’ killer is going to be more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack. As Shelby finds herself drawn deeper into the investigation, she’ll have to move quickly before the killer decides to put her out to pasture…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Love is in the air at Love Blossom Farm. Shelby McDonald is hosting her friends, Seth and Kelly’s barn wedding. The mother of the groom wanted an entirely different venue, but Shelby’s barn does look really pretty. The bride’s cousin and his band are on hand for the music and food is being barbecued for the dinner. After the wedding and the reception has ended and everything is back to “normal”, Shelby makes a frightening discovery. The lead singer from the band strung up like a scarecrow. Dead, yes, he is very dead, but Shelby has no idea what could have killed him. There is no blood, so obvious cause. Could one of her guests have killed him? or someone in the bridal party? or someone Shelby had hired? Maybe it was another member of the band? Everyone at the wedding is a suspect. Detective Frank McDonald may need Shelby’s help to solve this one. At least that is what she thinks.

These characters are very down to earth. Shelby is a food and lifestyle blogger who has a huge garden. She sells some of her harvests at Jake’s store. She posts recipes and gardening tips on her blog. I love that her blog posts are part of the book.

She is also raising 2 children, Billy and Amelia. Amelia is dealing with a bully issue at school. A current and relevant topic and I appreciated the insight shown by the author in a fictional way that really resonates. Shelby is also worried about Bert who is not feeling well.  Also, a member of the church has asked her to check out the pastor’s girlfriend. The member is sure she has a shady past.

The murder mystery itself is full of twists and turns and even includes another murder that changes not only Shelby’s thinking but this reader’s as well. The singer’s past is pretty dark and his actions could lead to a few people that would have the motive to kill. So many suspects are holding things back or outright lying. That makes the case hard to solve. There are some suspenseful moments as the killer is revealed. I may have solved it just a little bit before.

The setting in Michigan, Love Blossom Farm sounds like a perfect place. A great place to raise children. A place I would have loved to live when our family was just starting out. I think leasing out the barn for weddings is a great source for extra income. If no one else gets murdered, of course.

I do enjoy the way Ms. Cochran writes. Her “Hello Reader” blog posts and tidbits make me feel right at home. Her descriptive style brings everything into focus. She builds up her characters lives in a very realistic way. I found myself invested in what was happening with all the characters. Shelby does make a decision about her romantic life. It was hard, but I feel she made the right decision.

The entire story is very entertaining. A great installment to this series. I hope we get to visit Love Blossom Farm again soon.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series, and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death followed in July 2017. Bought the Farm is available now.





Coming July 31, 2018

Written as Meg London

Just Click on Covers to order from Amazon. 

 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 4, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Share
May 302018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to have SASHA SILVERMAN drop by for a visit today!

Escape with Sasha Silverman
by Meg Macy

Hi! I’m Sasha Silverman, manager of my family’s Silver Bear Shop & Factory in Silver Hollow. We’re located in the area around Ann Arbor, Michigan. My Uncle Ross is the supervisor of production, and my sister Maddie, an artist, does all our design work for flyers, promotion, brochures, and ads plus social media. She used to work as our office manager, but Aunt Eve – Uncle Ross’s ex-wife – has returned to take over that job. Maddie hopes to open her own graphic design studio, but right now, she’s busy with her fiberglass bear sculpture. Maddie’s design was chosen for the Parade of Bears, which is part of the village’s annual Oktobear Fest. Yes, Okto-BEAR. My sister and I are hosting a Cranbeary Tea party (parents, kids, teddy bears) to kick off the month’s events.

But Maddie and I plan to escape in between the festival and the busier Christmas season – when teddy bear production and holiday events really crank up the stress! We usually go to Mackinac Island for a fall weekend. This year, we forgot to make reservations at our favorite bed-and-breakfast spots. Oops! And for some reason, it seems everyone is heading up north on the weekend we chose. But the Somewhere In Time weekend at the Grand Hotel had a few spots left, for an exorbitant price – so we figured it might be worth it. What’s on the schedule? Apparently, it’s the 25th anniversary of holding the weekend, and the 35th anniversary of the film. Plus, actress Jane Seymour will be attending! How cool is that? I’m sure we’ll have a few fan-girl moments with her, an autograph or two, and hopefully more than a few selfies as well.

On the schedule is a special screening of the film, which we both loved – but haven’t seen in probably a decade – plus a discussion of how the movie was made, an evening cocktail reception (with mimosas, I hope), a Grand Luncheon Buffet along with their usual full breakfast and scrumptious dinners, and a costume promenade. Uh, oh. We have nothing to wear! That meant a pre-escape-escape to find some 1912 era-appropriate hats, shoes, and costumes. I found an ivory satin gown with tiers of lace cascading at an angle from a shirred Empire waist, with a square neckline; Aunt Eve says I can wear her pearls and above the elbow opera gloves. My hat tipped, also at an angle, is crowed with pale roses and other tiny flowers. Maddie is wearing a vintage green silk gown with an ivory lace overlay, since she’s petite, with a rose silk ribbon at the waist. Her wide-brimmed straw hat covered with feathers is larger than Kate Winslet’s in the Titanic film!

I doubt I’ll enjoy my satin heels for long, however. I couldn’t find a pair wide enough. Ouch! They pinch my toes, but I’ll manage to grit my teeth and maybe slip them off under the table while eating lunch and dinner. Maybe I can tiptoe barefoot back to my room each night, which is supposed to have a glimpse of the Mackinac Straits but faces the gorgeous, huge Victorian cottages on the West Bluff. I’m hoping Maddie and I can squeeze in our annual bicycle ride around the island on Sunday afternoon and buy our favorite fudge flavors in town before we have to catch the ferry back to Mackinaw City.

We’ll need a few days to recover from our weekend escape, I’m sure!

~Sasha

Thank you, Sasha/Meg, for dropping by today!

Now let me tell you all about this book.

 

About the Book 

Bear Witness to Murder (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496709653
Digital ASIN: B075C38DMD

 

 

As autumn air settles into the quaint small town of Silver Hollow, there’s nothing more popular than Sasha’s teddy bears—and murder in cold blood . . .

Silver Bear Shop and Factory manager Sasha Silverman is cozying up to the fall season by hosting Silver Hollow’s Cranbeary Tea Party, the opening event of the village’s Oktobear Fest—a too-cute celebration themed around teddy bears. She barely has a moment to agonize over the return of her former high school rival, Holly Parker, whose new toy and bookstore in town could spell big trouble for the Silver Bear Shop and her cousin’s small bookstore . . .

But when Sasha discovers Holly’s shop assistant dead with a knife plunged in her body, the unpleasant woman suddenly looks like a real backstabber. So does Sasha’s ex-husband, rumored to have rekindled the fiery extramarital affair he once had with the victim. Now, before a gruesome homicide case takes the fun out of both the Fest and her personal life, Sasha must identify the true culprit from a daunting suspect list—or risk becoming as lifeless as one of her stuffed bears . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is time for Oktobear Fest in Silver Hollow, Michigan. The event starts with a Cranbeary Tea Party. Silver Bear Shop has several bears in attendance and Sasha and her sister Maddie are waiting tables. Sasha is surprised to see her high school rival and owner of the new toy shop in town, Holly along with her assistant Gina at one of the tables and even more surprised to see her ex, Flynn arrive and he and Gina rush over to the mayor’s table. They make a huge scene. It wasn’t bad enough the new store was stealing business, now they had to try to ruin this wonderful event too.

The ultimate surprise was Sasha and her dog discovering Gina’s body outside a local eatery early the next morning. At first, she thought it was Holly, because of the clothing. Was the killer confused too? Who was the real target? Gina? or Holly? And is Flynn involved? or heaven forbid the mayor? Sasha finds herself in a beary dangerous place as she tries to catch the killer and save the festival.

There is so much to love in this story. I really loved the idea about the Bears on Parade. You see in Madison, Wisconsin, and Dane County this summer they have a Bucky’s on Parade art event with 85 Bucky Badger statues transformed by 64 artists. People are having so much fun hunting them all down. In this story there are about a dozen bears, Maddie is transforming one and so is her boyfriend Kip. Sasha is also helping to transform another bear. The bear statues have sponsors and both parades will auction off the statues at the end of their events. I hope to see a few before summer is over.

All the characters I enjoyed in the first book are back. I have to say I am not a fan of Sasha’s mother though. She bugged me a bit in the first story, but I think by now she needs to realize Flynn and Sasha are through, finished, kaput! The man cheated on her and his suggestion of marriage in name only to Sasha almost made me lose my mind. For some reason her mom likes Flynn, I can’t imagine how any mom would want her daughter with a man like him. I just hope in the next story she really sees the light and supports her daughter and the man she wants to be with.

Oh, the author has given us a clever mystery. The victim has a past – meaning plenty of suspects, with different motives for wanting her gone. I was “beary” confused at first but soon I had an inkling as to who the culprit could be but then I read further and thought I was totally wrong. Those pages were really flying and so much was happening, there was no way I was going to put this book down until I reached the end. By the way, I was wrong and surprised by the ending. I loved it!

Both books in this series have been excellent reads. I do recommend reading them in order to get to know the characters and the setting.

Bring on Book #3, Ms. Macy! I can hardly wait!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review and another guest post from Meg here

About the Author

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the area she chose for the setting of her new “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series; two books have been named Agatha Award finalists. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. She’s a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Meg loves reading mysteries, historical, and other genre fiction, and also enjoys gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

Author Links:      www.megmacy.com      Meg Macy on Facebook      Meg Macy on Twitter

Purchase Links:

Amazon      B&N     Kobo    Google Play   BookBub
Meg also co-writes with Sharon Pisacreta as D. E. Ireland.

Praise for Bear Witness to Murder (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
by Meg Macy

I was riveted and worried and really did not see THIS ending happening.
~Laura’s Interests

I loved all the things that were going on in the town, Oktobear Fest and the Cranbeary Tea Party and all the interesting things!
~Valerie’s Musings

I may be biased because I have a huge love for all things teddy bear but this is just the cutest cozy mystery series . . . The characters are all well developed pulling you into the story until you feel like you have known them forever.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Mystery lovers will enjoy this story filled with whimsical themes and fun characters that will have you wanting more.
~Texas Book-aholic

I don’t know what I enjoy more about this series – reading about the teddy bear-themed events, or the mystery itself. Sasha Silverman is such a down to earth, believable character that she makes both of them fun.
~The Book’s the Thing

All the story is told around the Oktobear Feast, it was really original reading about all the bear creations and ideas for kids, really, if this kind of village exists I want the name of the town!
~Varietats

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 23 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW

May 23 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

May 24 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

May 24 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 25 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

May 25 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 26 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 26 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 27 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

May 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 28 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 28 – Varietats – REVIEW

May 29 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

May 29 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 30 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

May 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

May 31 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 31 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

June 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

June 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

June 3 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

June 4 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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May 012018
 


Read Herring Hunt (Mystery Bookshop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496711830
Kindle ASIN: B074DGF7LW

 

 

Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is about to find out it’s not so easy to play Monday morning quarterback when it comes to murder. . . 
 
To the town of North Harbor, Michigan, MISU quarterback Dawson Alexander is a local hero. To Samantha Washington, owner of the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore, Dawson is more than a tenant—he’s like an adopted son. But to the police, he is their prime suspect after his ex-girlfriend is found murdered. It’s more than enough real-life drama for Sam to tackle, but her role as a mystery writer also calls. Returning to the English countryside between the wars, she finds Lady Daphne Marsh in quite the quandary. Someone has tried to murder the scandalous American divorcée Wallis Simpson, for whom Edward VIII so recently abdicated his throne. It seems finding a suspect is no small challenge when most of England has a motive . . .

While Sam’s lawyer sister Jenna rushes in to build Dawson’s defense, Sam and her lively grandmother, Nana Jo, huddle up to solve the mystery and blow the whistle on the real killer. With the tenacious members of the Sleuthing Senior Book Club eager to come off the sidelines, Sam and her team just might stop a killer from completing another deadly play . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tenant, employee, and MISU quarterback Dawson Alexander finds himself in hot water when his ex-girlfriend is found dead. He is suspended from the football team but his boss/landlord Samantha Washington is committed to proving his innocence and her Sleuthing Senior Book Club, including her grandmother, Nana Jo are all on board to help. First Samantha gets Jenna, her sister/lawyer to represent Dawson, then she and the ladies start investigating.

Samantha Washington is also a budding author and her characters are dealing with a murder mystery of their own. During a hunt, a young woman is shot and killed. Lady Daphne Marsh is on the case because she knows one of her guests in a murderer. She hopes to pin down the killer before any more blood is shed.

V.M. Burns is unique because she gives her readers two completely separate mysteries in each book.

Samantha is a fantastic protagonist. She is still finding her way since her husband’s death but Market Street Mysteries Bookstore, a dream she ended up fulfilling on her own has had great success. Her nephews pitch in at the store when they can and while Dawson helps in the store but his main duty is baking up tasty treats for the customers to enjoy.

Her other dream to become a mystery writer is proceeding nicely too, as she pens her second story. She has yet to take the major step of finding an agent to get her books published.

Her Nana Jo has moved in with Samantha since she was involved in the murder in book one, The Plot is Murder. Nana Jo and her friends round out this clever cast. These senior ladies all remind me of my mother in one way or another and their antics had me in stitches.

I was happy to see Dawson in a key role. His mother/ son like relationship with Sam was heartwarming. Getting more of his backstory was very interesting.

The main mystery really had me guessing. The victim was not at all what she seemed and the more we found out about her the more suspects came into play. The police decided early on the Dawson was guilty so Sam and her senior sleuths really had to dig to get the evidence to convince them otherwise and by then they were almost too late. Twists, turns, and yes, Red Herrings kept the pages flying until the real murderer was revealed.

The second mystery, the one Samantha is writing was a type of closed room mystery. The guilty party had to have been part of the hunt. For me, this one was easier to solve but very entertaining. I will admit, it takes a while, to get into a rhythm with one story interrupting the other. I thought about skipping through and reading the main story first and then going back to read the second, but I didn’t do it. Samantha always finds time to write when she is stuck on the real drama in her life, late at night when she can’t sleep and I understand that. I read at night when I can’t sleep. So in recognizing her process I adjusted mine and read the book as it was written.

Both settings, the English countryside, and the Michigan college town of North Harbor come alive in the worlds V. M. Burns has created. The Marsh Manor and the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore are both places I would love to visit again and again.

Not one, but two well-written mysteries, a slew of interesting characters, and two vastly different settings make this book unique and enjoyable. I look forward to many more books in this series.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

V.M. Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She currently resides in Tennessee with her two poodles, Coco and Cash. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can visit her website at vmburns.com.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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